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Growing Up Asian American in Young Adult Fiction$
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Ymitri Mathison

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496815064

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496815064.001.0001

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The Productive Pedagogy of Ambiguity in Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons

The Productive Pedagogy of Ambiguity in Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons

(p.63) The Productive Pedagogy of Ambiguity in Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons
Growing Up Asian American in Young Adult Fiction

Jennifer Ho

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter offers an example of how to productively teach Lynda Barry’s graphic narrative One Hundred Demons through the lens of ambiguity, which runs throughout Barry’s coming-of-age comix. Ambiguity of her intended audience (adults vs young adults), of the genre (autobiography, fiction, novel, art), and most especially of her ethnic and racial identity (white appearing with a Filipino extended family) saturate One Hundred Demons, in the collision of text, image, and color. The fluidity of ambiguity threaded in Barry’s comix allows students to enter and engage with the graphic narrative and to see the universal elements through the specificity of her story. The unique power of Barry’s graphic narrative lies in how well she is able to convey liminality: through pictures and words, Barry captures the heartbreakingly painful awkwardness of transitioning from childhood into adolescence and of being an other and an outsider, sometimes within her own family.

Keywords:   Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons, Filipino, Comix, Graphic fiction

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